Damian Salas denied entry into the U.S.; heads-up WSOP Main Event finale postponed until Jan. 2

Damian Salas denied entry into the U.S.; heads-up WSOP Main Event finale postponed until Jan. 2
Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: December 28, 2020 14:00 PST

Codigo Poker reports that GGPoker WSOP Main Event champion Salas can’t enter the U.S. under COVID-19 protocols

The heads-up finale of the 2020 WSOP Main Event hit another apparent snag due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest chapter in the chaotic and unprecedented 2020 Main Event sees the champion from the GGPoker side of the tournament unable to enter the U.S. in time for the scheduled heads-up finale on Dec. 30.

Codigo Poker reported Monday that GGPoker WSOP Main Event champion Damian Salas was denied entry into the U.S. due to COVID-19 protocols. Salas was crowned the international Main Event champion on Dec. 15 at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

Salas’ presence at that tournament final table, however, now prevents him from entering the U.S. in time for the scheduled Dec. 30 heads-up match between Salas and whoever wins Monday’s WSOP.com side of the 2020 Main Event.

Codigo Poker’s reports on the Salas travel issue included this tweet, posted Monday:

“Despite having negative swabs, the US did not recognize the exception certificate processed by the #WSOP and denied entry because he was in Europe less than 15 days ago,” read the tweet translated from Spanish. “At the end the heads-up will be played on Saturday, January 2.”

COVID-19 protocols delay Salas’ arrival in Las Vegas

U.S. COVID-19 protocols dictate that anyone who’s been in Europe recently must wait 15 days before they can enter the US. The 15-day period for Salas ends Dec. 30.

Salas’ originally scheduled flight into the U.S. was supposed to take place on Dec. 28. To get around the 15-day waiting period, Salas was issued a “certificate of exemption” from the WSOP that was intended to allow the Argentinian poker legend to bypass the 15-day delay requirement.

Salas told Codigo Poker that his scheduled flight into the U.S. was canceled twice. His first planned route from Buenos Aries to Las Vegas with a stopover in Dallas was halted, as Salas got word that his certificate of exemption wouldn’t be recognized by Dallas airport authorities.

That prompted Salas to try to change his flight to go through Miami, but airport officials in the Florida city also informed Salas that they wouldn’t allow him to land.

Main Event heads-up finale rescheduled for Jan. 2 according to Codigo Poker

The WSOP hasn’t released any official statement on the travel delays involving Salas. The Codigo Poker piece, however, reports that the 2020 Main Event heads-up match is now postponed until Jan. 2.

Salas will fly out of Buenos Aries on Jan. 1, and arrive in Las Vegas at 2 am local time on Jan. 2 according to the Codigo Poker article.

Poker.org will continue to update developments on the 2020 WSOP Main Event.

Featured image source: Flickr/World Poker Tour